The taxes are paid, the boat is registered, and we have insurance for Andrew’s boat. All that remains is finding a local marina more convenient than the one in Gig Harbor where the boat is currently moored. And a name. Andrew is thinking about what to name this vessel since the she doesn’t have a name already.
Naming a boat is a weighty responsibility. Our first boat, the Saucy Sue, was so named after a linefrom a Black Adder episode. Our family knows all the lines from all the episodes. We are complete Black Adder geeks. The name fit the boat, a diminutive Catalina 27 that was quick and responsive and seemed many times to have a mind of her own. She had’sauciness’ to spare. Mike named that boat as soon as we got her; another boat that had no name at the outset. It seemed like the name really described that boat’s personality,or at least what we projected onto her.
Then there is Moonrise. Our current Cal 34 has been called Moonrise for many years and I never wanted to change it. When I first learned that this was her name, I knew she was the boat for us. It does suit her. The word conjurs up images of peaceful nights, of romance, of the mutability of the feminine. We have always seen Moonrise as a graceful vessel, a little like a woman with southern charm. Images of the moon suit her. The moon also represents emotion, those energies that wax and wane like the moon. She has certainly touched our hearts, bringing both great joy and a feeling of freedom.
We wonder, sometimes, at the names we see on boats. Many people apparently like to use a double entendre to make some kind of a point in naming their vessel. Sometimes that will cause us to cringe collectively, almost reflexively rolling our eyes. We saw a boat named ‘Miss Isle’. Really? You think maybe she’s fast? Then there was ‘Vitamin Sea’. Okay. There’s a boat in our marina called ‘Our Third Love’. We don’t know what that means. We hope the owners know. Then there is the ubiquitous ‘Luna Sea’. ‘Lun a cy’. Get it? HAHAHAHA! Right. You get the point. I’m sure somewhere there is a book on boat names. Or probably an internet site. Because someone has to make this stuff up and it’s certainly not me.
We recently looked at a lovely Cal39 that is in the running as ‘the boat’ for us. The
boat’s name is ‘Saila V’. Now, ‘C’est la vie’ isn’t ncessarily a bad a name for a boat,
but really? Why couldn’t they have simply used the French expression? It’s not a ‘cutesy’ boat, it’s a lovely boat. Why have a cutesy name? What’s strange is that this expression is generally said with somewhat of a shrug. It’s a dismissive expression and gesture used in response to something negative. You could say ‘shit happens’ and it would mean almost the same thing. When we looked at the boat, I sort of shrugged and felt like ‘meh…’. And it’s a nice boat that is very well kept and has a layout exactly like the one we saw months ago that I’ve frequently wished we had bought! I should have been pretty excited about it. I wonder if the feeling tone of the name had infiltrated this boat. If we buy that boat, the name is going away fast. I’ll have to look at it again and see if it still leaves me with the same feeling.
Compare this with the name ‘Spellbound’, which is the name of the Westerly 39 we looked at up in Anacortes and is reviewed on the boat page. That boat grabbed me right away. I must have been under a spell of some kind because I still like that boat, even though it has many, many more faults than the recent Cal 39, and it is going to need some likely major repairs. Is the name speaking to me more than the actual boat? Maybe in the future I should remain ignorant of the vessel name when looking for the first time because it’s clear that logic plays little part in the feeling one gets about a boat.
So Andrew has run through a number of possibilities in naming his new boat. Right away I thought of ‘Sea Monkey’, a playful name with just a touch of a nod to Poseidon. Just a touch. He thought of ‘Saucy Sue’ because he has such fond memories of that boat and he learned to sail on her. Of course he’s also thought of ‘Mopey Teen’, and ‘Slack Bladder’ (another reference to Black Adder). Imagine hailing someone on the VHF, saying either of those names three times. He is ever the amusing lad. “Mopey Teen, Mopey Teen, Mopey Teen, this is your mother. Do you copy?.”
He won’t know until he sails her what the name should be, but maybe you readers already have ideas. What would you name a boat like this little Ericson 25? These boats are described as fast, tender, pointing well, sailing like a boat much larger than they are. Sounds like they are little boats with big hearts. What would you name her?